Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has chosen his pick to head the county-owned Miami International Airport.
Emilio T. González, former director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under President George W. Bush, will replace retiring aviation director José Abreu, who is retiring at the end of the month.
In a memo to county commissioners announcing the appointment Friday afternoon, Gimenez highlighted González’s experience running a federal agency with a $2.5 billion budget and 19,000 employees.
“His experience and relationships, in particular with Federal agencies vital to the Aviation Department, will be invaluable as MIA’s construction program nears conclusion and transitions to fully operational and we look to maximize all of our community’s aviation assets,” the mayor wrote.
González’s appointment will be effective as of April 1, though he will begin working a week earlier to transition into the job. Abreu, the outgoing director, retires on March 31.
A 56-year-old Cuban exile, the accomplished González has a doctorate in international relations from the University of Miami. He spent 25 years in the U.S. Army, at one point teaching at the military academy at West Point.